Catholic leaders in Nashville face scrutiny over handling of sexual assault allegation against former Aquinas College priest


July 21, 2020

By Holly Meyer

A woman has accused the former chaplain of Aquinas College of sexually assaulting her nearly three years ago while she was a student at the Nashville school.

Catholic leaders in Tennessee are now facing scrutiny for how they handled her allegation against the Rev. Kevin McGoldrick, the 46-year-old priest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who ministered in Nashville for almost six years.

Last week, the London-based Catholic Herald published an extensive report that detailed the woman’s accusations. It also raised questions about why the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St. Cecilia and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville did not do more when the woman first came forward about the August 2017 attack.

Eventually, the woman took her allegation to the Philadelphia archdiocese, which found it to be credible, and she filed a report with Nashville police.

The woman, identified by a pseudonym in the publication’s report, told the Catholic Herald she reached out to the Nashville diocese in March 2019 and gave the victim assistance coordinator a full account of what McGoldrick did to her.

But Catholic leaders in Tennessee say they initially were not given all the details now available about the allegation against the priest.

Susan Vance, a leader with the Tennessee chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, criticized them for their inaction.

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